|Donald E. McLaren, age 77 of Knoxville, Illinois, died at 9:25 A.M. on Sunday, April 1, 2012, at Heartland Manor Care in Galesburg, Illinois.
He was born on April 29, 1934 in Knoxville, Illinois, the son of Clarence Earl and Wilmadene Wright McLaren. He was reared and educated in Knoxville, Illinois, graduating from Knoxville HIgh School in 1952. He married Carolyn M. Bushong on October 19, 1953, at the United Methodist Church Parsonage in Knoxville, Illinois. She survives of Knoxville, Illinois.
Also surviving are three daughters: Debra (Tom) Jackson of LeRoy, Illinois; Ann (Steve) Shonkwiler of Knoxville, Illinois; and Kelly (Jim) McCormick of Knoxville, Illinois. One son: Steve (Janice) McLaren of Aledo, Illinois. Ten grandsons, seven granddaughters, nine great grandchildren. One brother, Clarence McLaren, Jr., of East Galesburg, Illinois, and one sister, Mary Helen (Don) Fahlund of Knoxville, Illinois. He was preceded in death by one brother: Harold.
He joined the United States Air Force on January 8, 1953, until January 7, 1957. He earned the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
He then worked at Gates Rubber Company of Galesburg, Illinois, for 33 years in many departments, and retiring in 1996. For the past seven years he worked for Riesenberg, Inc., as a driver for railroad transport.
He was a member of the Harry Philblad American Legion Post #749 of Knoxville, Illinois. Was a volunteer for the Gilson Fire Department in the late 1960s. Member of the United Steel Workers Union.
He enjoyed working on cars and building houses; he built three of the homes in which he resided during his life.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, April 7, 2012, from 2:00 - 4:00 P.M. at the Hurd-Hendricks Fellowship Center in Knoxville, Illinois, with Military Rites conducted by the Ralph M. Noble American Legion Post #285 Honor Guard. Memorial may be made to the Charity of the Donors Choice. Hurd-Hendricks Funeral Homes in Knoxville, Illinois in charge of arrangements. On-line condolences or sympathy cards may be sent through www.hurd-hendricksfuneralhome.com